Several complaints have been filed against the acting VC’s alleged out-of-turn promotion
KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) restrained on Monday the senate of the Federal Urdu University of Art, Science and Technology (Fuuast) from taking any decision regarding the appointment of its acting vice-chancellor (VC), Professor Sulaiman D Muhammad, who was re-appointed by the president after removal of service on plagiarism charges.
A division bench, headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, also issued notices to the varsity’s acting VC, the director of the Higher Education Commission’s Quality Assurance Agency and others to file their comments by October 14.
Engineer Farhan Ahmed Bughio had approached the high court, pleading to declare the re-appointment of Professor Sulaiman D Muhammad null and void on the basis of his dubious PhD degree. The petitioner told the court that Prof Muhammad claimed to have acquired a PhD degree in the subject of economics from the University of Karachi on May 5, 2010, and currently held the post of the acting vice-chancellor of Fuuast.
The Fuuast management had forwarded the suspected plagiarised material to the HEC’s Quality Assurance Agency, which deals with issues of plagiarism. The report of the automated test, namely Turnitin, also confirmed allegations of plagiarism against the respondent.
The court was informed that a 10-member committee of Fuuast’s Syndicate, which was constituted to investigate the matter, had served a show-cause notice to the respondent, but he did not respond. On April 10, the syndicate unanimously passed an order, imposing a major penalty to remove the respondent from service.
He argued that this order had attained finality as it was not challenged during the 30-day period of appeal with the senate.
The two judges issued notices to Prof Muhammad, the Fuuast registrar and the director of the HEC’s Quality Assurance Agency to file their comments by October 14. Till then, the bench restrained the Fuuast senate members from taking any decision regarding his appointment in the meeting scheduled for October 6 (today).
Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2015.